Driving is the greatest thing about living in America. I wish we had the autobahn, but it's still nice to travel from state to state. On the open road, I can go anywhere. I can do go anywhere and do anything. America is one massive country connected by a beautiful interstate, and you can see every landscape from a car.
Here's my list of the
Best Road Trips in America
*Since LA is my home and West Coast hub, I'll start there!
LA - San Fran
Plan 3-4 days or a week to see it all.
Visit beach towns and Big Sur along the way.
With breathtaking ocean views and the redwood forest, this 7hr one-way trip presents heaven. Where else could you see a waterfall cascading into the ocean beneath a bed of redwoods? Big Sur is heaven everywhere you look.
LA - British Columbia
LA - Portland - Seattle - BC
This beautiful drive takes you along the Pacific Ocean through the thick forest land of British Columbia. We made this trip when I was 7 months pregnant and it was a very special experience. We drove the I-5 up and stopped in Shasta and Eugene, OR. We drove 14 hrs the first night and stopped in Oregon. We stayed in a tiny house cabin airbnb that my husband adoringly nicknamed "the lesbian birdhouse" for $78.
The next day, we met with my parents in Vancouver, Washington. Split on the River of Portland, we drove in the city, shopped at a dispensary, drove and saw all the waterfalls, fish ladders, and dams. We bought fresh apples and berries from the roadside markets. The next day, we drove into Seattle. It was Mitchell's first time there and we saw a lot just driving through the streets. We parked near the pier and ate at Elliot's.
We decided to take the drive all the way into British Columbia that night. We booked a stay at Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. It's across the water from all the action, but nice and affordable costing almost $100/night. The next day, I negotiated trade work with the Nelson House bed and breakfast and stayed in the charming West End district near the water and art.
That night, we drove around the city, into the Gaslamp District and feel in love with the cafes, street performers, and cobblestone roads. It was quite shocking to see the vast contrast of homeless on Hastings Rd. just a block east, but we're all brothers and sisters and we all need each other.
All in all, we stayed in British Columbia for 2 days. Had the budget permitted, I would have stayed a 4 days to a week, but work calls.
Los Angeles - Zion
LA - Vegas - St. George - Zion
Living in Los Angeles and Utah, I drive this road often. I've developed a love for the great American West. Especially, Utah. The vast views and color-changing landscapes tell a story of dinosaurs and the ancient Anasazi people. The dark sky, the bright stars. It's a spiritual place. It's a beautiful place to contemplate life.
Tons of Angelinos migrate to Vegas for a quick trip of entertainment, indulgence, spending, and sin. Ju
st 2 hour drive north and you'll find a slice of heaven on Earth: Zion. It's a fun and tranquil getaway for anyone looking to reconnect with nature and discover the beautiful color country of Southern Utah.
On the way to Zion, you'll see the quaint red cliff town of St. George, Utah. The bright white building is the oldest operating LDS Temple in the world.
St. George is a great pl
ace to eat, get gas, and visit Pioneer Park. Back on the Interstate, take exit 16 and stop in the town of Hurricane (on the way to Zion) for crisp water fun at Sand Hollow Reservoir or Quail Creek.
Perfect for mountain biking, camping, canoeing, cliff diving, and swimming
Drive through Hurricane, past the Main St. "downtown". Right will take you to the Wave, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon. Right will take you over the La Verkin suspension bridge, up State Route 9 to Springdale, Utah, and into Zion. You can lodge, camp, horseback ride, hike and eat here. The most famous hikes are Angel's Landing and The Narrows which can be accessed through the Temple of Sinawava Hike. The hike from Temple to Big Spring does not require a permit (10 miles - all day adventure). The 1-2 day hike down from Chamberlain Ranch to Temple of Sinawava requires a permit, camping gear, and arranged transportation (a 1 1/2 hr drive drop off) to the starting point at Chamberlain Ranch.
The Mighty Five
This drive is unlike any you'll take in the world. I put it as #1 because it's rare, incredible, and less traffic that the PCH. Utah is incredible. Once home to the dinosaurs and Ancient Native American people, Utah's rich, natural monoliths touch a sacred reach in the sky. The national parks are a sight to see and worth seeing them all if you're willing to take this roap trip. Here's a scenic guide to Utah's National Parks.
My dream has always been to explore the East Coast. My ideal trip is to start in Maine and end in Florida. Itinerary: Acadia National Park, White Mountains National Forest, Green Mountains National Forest, Catskills, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Shenandoah, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Everglades.
Have you been on any of these road trips?! Do you have any tips or recommendations? Leave your advice in the comments below. If you like this article, heart it and share! Here’s a free map!
Thanks for reading.
Follow @ValDouroux for adventures!